Nine linked stories that continue Mosley's foray into science fiction that began in Blue Light
(1998). Mystery fans eager for another outing with Easy Rawlins or Socrates Fortlow can find a version of Mosley's brand of socially stigmatized, African-American crime-solver in New York private detective Folio Johnson, a former bodyguard who nearly died saving his employer, the megalomaniacal MacroSoft Corp. head Dr. Ivan Kismet (owner of the world's richest, biggest corporation and
head of a new religion that posits that God can be reached directly through technology), and was thus blessed by Dr. Kismet with a mechanical eye that can scan DNA and a chunk of computerized circuitry in his brain that links him with the Internet and every communications system in the dark, gritty, overwired, debauched mid-21st century. "Electric Eye," the central story here, comes close to being a cyberpunk parody of the hard-boiled genre, in which its tired clichés-winning a fallen woman's love, waking up next to a freshly murdered corpse, etc.-are given a futuristic gloss. As cyberpunk godfather William Gibson did in Count Zero
and Burning Chrome
, Mosley uses stylish characters and technobabble to navigate an intricate, grimy, technologically baroque urban landscape where the struggles of exploited, marginalized, unusually gifted individuals, most of whom are racial, technological, or genetic hybrids like Folio, make significant—if occasionally unintended—changes in the repressive, vindictive, cruelly depersonalized world around them.
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